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As first reported in Deadline, Daredevil’s fourth season has joined Iron Fist and Luke Cage on the scrap heap of cancelled Netflix shows. Although the Marvel/Netflix deal for four streaming series and a Defenders spin-off was greeted with loud cheers when first announced in 2013, now it’s become more of a humdrum affair for all involved. Although the shows have gotten generally good reviews – save for Iron Fist and the Dudfenders – complaints of “Netflix bloat” in the 13 episode seasons and drab production values have led to diminishing returns with each season.,

Daredevil, starring Charlie Cox in the title role, with Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin, ran for three seasons and spawned a Punisher spin off. The fate of a second season of that show remains unknown, although star Jon Bernthal has also been tweeting mysteriously for a few weeks. Also not announced, whether Jessica Jones, perhaps the best received of the shows, will return for a third season. According to multiple outlets, sources say both seasons will run as planned.

However, in a statement Netflix didn’t close the coffin lid on Daredevil entirely: “While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.”

That “years to come” is especially interesting because everyone has been wondering if Disney would snag back their Marvel streaming series for their new Disney+ OTT service that already has shows planned for Loki and Scarlet Witch/Vision.

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The Deadline story actually reveals that relations between Marvel TV and Netflix have been strained for a while, with Netflix wanting to slim the shows down to 10 episode seasons, and Marvel resisting. The parade of showrunners, and expensive location filming in New York are also factors.

But it seems that  the cancellations of  Luke Cage and Iron Fist were very sudden:

Overall, the cancellation of the series starring Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio, who had been tweeting about a fourth season in the past few weeks, shows just how strained relations between Netflix and the Jeph Loeb run Marvel TV have become. A far cry from when their multi-series deal was first announced back in 2013 with big smiles and almost bigger plans.

The current state of affairs became painfully evident when the SVOD player abruptly pulled the plug on a third season of Luke Cage last month. One week after Iron Fist was pink slipped, that October 19 cancellation of Harlem’s Hero came after the nearly half scripts had been written for a Season 3 and a formal renewal had been considered a foregone conclusion.

Ouch. The MCU is the biggest thing ever in the movies, but the Netflix Marvel shows have become distinct also rans, even as Netflix has signed up more and gaudier deals with everyone under the sun. Times have certainly changed since the innocent days of 2013.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Jessica Jones isn’t the best received of the shows, it’s always been Daredevil. Season 1 of JJ was great but Season 2 was very weak. If the Disney streaming service take DD they will water down it’s material which would be a mistake.

  2. That “years to come” is especially interesting because everyone has been wondering if Disney would snag back their Marvel streaming series for their new Disney+ OTT service

    They aren’t Disney’s series. They are Netflix’s as they paid for development of them.

    Traditional broadcast and cable TV – Production company pitches idea to TV channel but funds production of show themselves as after TV channel is done with it they still have syndication money from selling it to second and third TV channels and international TV channels.

    Streaming company – pays for everything because they keep the show forever the show doesn’t ever stop ‘airing’ for want of a comparison.

    Think of it like Spiderman: Homecoming that film will forever be part of Sony’s film library even if the rights for the character went back to Marvel. Disney would need to buy the film rights separately. So if Sony sold it’s film/TV company to Comcast for instance the rights to make new Spiderman films goes back to Marvel while all already created Spiderman films would be owned by Comcast.

  3. Oh as for why the show was cancelled simple what ever metrics Netflix uses says the show is no longer profitable so it’s cancelled that’s what happens to every TV ever.

    TV show’s don’t ‘end’ they continue if they are profitable (see the Simpsons) or are cancelled because they are no longer profitable that’s it anything else is PR Jedi bullshit believed by the ‘crazy’

  4. “TV show’s don’t ‘end’ they continue if they are profitable (see the Simpsons) or are cancelled because they are no longer profitable that’s it anything else is PR Jedi bullshit believed by the ‘crazy’”

    Uh…no. There are ALWAYS other factors that come into play. For example…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Acres#%22Rural_purge%22_cancellation

    The other great example is shows doing okay in one time slot getting moved into a historically bad time slot. It has happened over and over again and how do you think it’s decided which show gets moved into the death slot?

    Or to put it another way, if you think HBO kept renewing “Girls” for six seasons because it was “profitable”…think again.

    Mike

  5. “Netflix wanting to slim the shows down to 10 episode seasons, and Marvel resisting”

    Most intelligent Netflix proposal in a long time. These shows are padded and repetitive, only sporadically good, and people who regard them as “prestige” TV are deluding themselves.

    This sort of reminds me of the Fox-Warner disputes that kept Adam West’s “Batman” series off home video for decades.

  6. Yeah, I think the business model has changed significantly. Streaming services and content ownership change understandings of what counts as profitable. It seems like the model is in flux enough that people are trying to figure out what the new norm will be. And since Disney and Netflix are now going to be competitors, that’s got to figure in somehow, although most of us are not privy to that decision-making process.

  7. Nobody outside Netflix’s headquarters knows how many people were streaming “Daredevil” and the other Marvel series. We don’t know what Netflix regards as a successful show, because they aren’t telling. It’s been speculated that the cost of N.Y. location shooting may have been a factor, but who knows?

    Rollilng Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall tweeted this:

    “The Marvel shows for Disney are being produced by Marvel movie execs, who do not like or get along with the Marvel TV execs who made Dardevil et al. Technically, they COULD make a Luke Cage show a few years down the line. They just don’t want to.

    “And if they did, they’d be starting over from scratch creatively, like Sony ditching the Andrew Garfield movies for Tom Holland as Spider-Man.

    “The execs have already said they don’t want these shows on the Disney service. And even if they did, the nature of the contracts would make it virtually impossible. They’re done.”

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